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“As long as you keep in mind that it is a dorm, not a hotel, it is an excellent choice and great value.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Albergue Juvenil Colegia Mayor Olarain

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Albergue Juvenil Colegia Mayor Olarain
USA
Level Contributor
48 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“As long as you keep in mind that it is a dorm, not a hotel, it is an excellent choice and great value.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2012

We stayed two nights here. The rooms and facilities were clean, and the room was much better than any of the college dorm rooms I have seen in the US. The beds were not too comfortable (dorm beds) and there is no air conditioner, therefore some noise from the outside can disturb you (but we sleep with ear plugs now so no problem). The service and rest of the facilities were good although basic, and we were able to do our laundry here (only 1 machine though, so we did it in the morning while people were out and about). The breakfast is more than adequate, and they also offer lunch and dinner that are quite generous (for extra money). The location is in a quiet residential/university neighborhood, about 15-20 minute walk from the beach, and 30-40 minute walk from the Old City of San Sebastian. It was a great value for expensive San Sebastian, especially if you don't mind the walk (taxis and public transport are also available). Therefore, as long as you keep in mind that it is a dorm, and not a hotel, it is a great place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ben_from_philly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    6
    21
    16
    1
    0
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5
19
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3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toulouse
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2012

A college dorm so basic, no frills accommodation but was clean, comfortable with hot water in the shower and plenty of storage space. No air-con though which was ok when we were there but if it were any hotter (30deg +) it would start getting uncomfortable. If you are just looking for somewhere to shower and sleep during a short stay in San Seb this place is perfect. Provided you have a car and are not worried about the 30 minute walk back after a night out. The dorm is about 3 - 4km away from the central parts of the city (sights, restaurants, beaches, etc) and a 10 minute walk (uphill for some) from the nearest bus stop so if you didn't have a car it would be awkward to get to with luggage. If you do have a car you could be lucky enough to get parked just outside for free, if it's full then there is a private car park behind the dorm for only 5 euro a day. We were a group of young people just in San Seb for the weekend and only stayed one night, it was perfect for getting cleaned up after the beach before heading out for the night and there is a decent breakfast (though not particularly cheap compared to local shops) on offer for around 4 euro depending on what you have. It wasn't particularly cheap given the standard of accommodation (57 euro each per night) but we booked last minute in the height of the summer season so it was a good price compared to other places in San Seb at the time. I'd go back if the price was right.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank adventureplease37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
81 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2011

This accommodation is hard to find, especially when it's raining and dark - if you are using a GPS, ensure its database is up to date. Ours wasn't and we ended up lost on a very high, and very narrow, scary mountain road. My wife's hair turned a very premature shade of white! When we eventually found the place - and thanks to those kindly unknown Spaniards who gestured and pointed - we found it required a card to enter. And so more thanks are due to a passing student who was able to let us in. In fact, there is an intercom system cunningly placed out of immediate sight near the entrance doors which we might have noticed in daylight, but we didn't see in the rain and the dark.
The receptionist (there is someone on duty 24 hours) was charming, she was most helpful and spoke English. She gave us maps and advice and of course, the magic card required to access our room and the entire building. Regarding this accommodation, don't forget that this "hotel" is mainly for students and as such, the rooms cater for their needs. So there is a double bed (!) a desk with multiple drawers and shelving, a neat bathroom and toilet, and a good wardrobe. There is also good heating but no air-conditioning. Surprisngly, there are no tea/coffee making facilties and no fridge. There is also only one side-table for the bed as it is jammed against one wall, and the mattress is very, very firm - make that HARD! This is fine for young bodies, but not so good for the more mature, so we didn't get a good nighty's sleep. The internet was free but we found that in our room on the fourth floor, it was weak/slow enough to be useless - we told this to reception when we left.
Breakfast was included in the tariff. On Saturday morning it was a buffet, a minimum choice "continental" offering which boasted the usual lack of protein but plenty of bread and pastries. It was served in a very modern student cafeteria.
There was one charming aspect of the building - it hosted many historical artifacts which , together with the various lifelike and whimsical figures adorning the walls, complemented the modern decor. (See Photo.)

Room Tip: Get a printed map - or an up-to-date GPS - before you travel!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank OnceBittenMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kortrijk
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2011

Good location when you want to stay in San Sebastian during semana grande,half august.
Basic student residence,with large room,basic but good single bed,bathroom O.K.
Carparking in front of in garage(elsewhere you have to pay everywhere in San Sebastian).
Good breakfast at a good price.
You can walk 15' to playa Ondarrata,another 15' to parte vieja(centro) and to end of Playa
Zurriola another 20'.There's also a busconnection in front of the street to the center.But it is
still expansive 79,50 euro for a single room.No cheaper alternative at this time or in the region.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank surfer36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2011

My husband and I stayed for 1 night. When we arrived the first thing we noticed was the sculptures outside which made the building look inviting and fun. We stayed in a twin room which was basic yet large in space with high ceilings and windows to catch the breeze.It is very new, modern and very nice. Dinner was buffet style, with a basic hot food selectio. Breakfast consisted of cereals, pastries, fruit juice and fruit. This is a college which lets out its rooms during student breaks and is a great place for young people and families, however if you are travelling as a couple and want something a bit romantic I would recommend a hotel closer to the beach. The beach is an easy 10 minute stroll, and is picturesque. You can walk all the way along the foreshore and onto the Old Town - this could take an hour - but there's plenty to see and do along the way so make a day of it. San Sebastian is one of most beautiful seaside towns in Europe and you definetely need to spend more than 1 night to soak it all up.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank amelia-emerson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albufeira, Portugal
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2011

This is a University Hall of Residence which lets rooms to travellers during summer. Everything looked brand new, squeaky clean but with plain, almost spartan rooms.

Location : 4km to the west of the city centre, just off the Avenida Tolosa in the modern suburb of Berri and within the University Campus.

Reception : Efficient, multi-lingual staff are present at all hours.

Access : The hotel is an 8 Euro taxi ride from the city centre, railway stations etc. There is a large car park outside, free to residents. Numerous city buses stop about 5 minutes walk away. Any ride on the bus costs €1,40.

Room facilities : these are student quarters but brand new. My single room was quite large , with a study area and desk. It had a modern, well equipped bathroom with shower. It was absolutely spotless. Cleaners come round every day.

There is plenty of cupboard space. There's a flat screen TV with several Spanish channels plus BBC World News. There is no wifi in the rooms, but you can 'borrow' an ethernet cable from reception for a €10 deposit for free high speed access in your room.

There is no air-conditioning in the rooms (the windows do open) but the climate of the area is such that it isn't necessary. This is green, slightly damp Spain, not the Mediterranean. The rooms do not have fridges or any other domestic facilities eg kettles.

Public rooms : there is a large lounge area on the ground floor with a mixture of soft seats and tables at which to work. Wifi is available there, but the signal was rather weak at times. There are plenty of electrical plugs for your power supply.

Meals/Cafeteria : located on the ground floor for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is buffet style, with hot and cold drinks, rolls, pastries, cereals etc in typical Spanish style. Dinner is also served, which I did not try as there is only sitting either at 20.30hrs or 21.00hrs, too late for me.There is no room service.

Bar - there is no bar on site but there are several within five minutes walk.

Others : the hotel has games rooms available to guests plus a roof top basketball and paddle tennis court.

An item to note (and this is in common with the city) is that public notices are almost all only in the Euskara (Basque) language and Spanish.

Noise - the guest rooms overlook the car park, which also contains the rubbish skips or dumpsters. There was some quite intrusive noise, from 7am, onwards of both service vehicles and car engines running, doors slamming etc.

Overall, it was an acceptable short stay but I have marked it down because of the noise and the cost which I thought a little on the expensive side for what it was.

Room Tip: There are four floors of rooms. The higher you are the further from the car park noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cubsur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2010

I was traveling solo and the room here worked just fine for me. It is a college dorm, but it is very quiet, and it was perfect for me primarily because I was in the middle of a 2.5 week trip and needed to do some laundry and they do have laundry facilities. The also have internet, which is nice.

The room is a college dorm, so it is very basic but all I needed was a comfortable bed and shower. It's about a mile or two to get to all the activity in the old part of San Sebastian, but it is an easy taxi ride, or a 30 minute walk.

I found the front desk people to be a bit short-tempered (all of them!). I thought maybe it's just something about my Americano style, but I didn't have similar experiences at any of the other hotels I stayed at throughout Spain.

Overall I would recommend this if you are a budget traveler. I traveled solo, so I can't say what the accommodations would be like for more than one person. It is very quiet, the room had working A/C, electricity, TV, good shower/bathroom, and a comfy bed.

The only downside would be the distance to the central part of town, but I very much enjoy walking so this was not a problem with me.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mbay2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Albergue Juvenil Colegia Mayor Olarain

Property: Albergue Juvenil Colegia Mayor Olarain
Address: Paseo Ondarreta, 24, 20018 San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain
Region: Spain > Basque Country > Province of Guipuzcoa > San Sebastian - Donostia
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 86 Speciality Lodging in San Sebastian - Donostia
Hotel Class:2 star — Albergue Juvenil Colegia Mayor Olarain 2*
Number of rooms: 21

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